Florala utilities chair resigns

Published 12:04 am Friday, February 15, 2013

The chairman of the Florala Utilities Board told The Star-News Thursday he is resigning.

Marvin Williford, who has headed the board for the last four years, said he based his decision on the board’s recent legal and accountability issues.

“Due to what happened, I should have known these things were going on, and based on that, I have to resign,” he said.

Williford was first citing the arrest of the board’s longtime general manager, Lynn Hughes, who is facing two counts of theft and an ethics violation after she allegedly issued herself extra paychecks and paid family insurance premiums totaling more than $40,000. She is currently free on a $120,000 bond.

Williford then referenced a recent audit of the board’s finances that showed nearly 20 findings of internal weaknesses and legal compliance issues – such as employee pay loans, insufficient payroll and employee work time accountability and misuse of company property.

“I take full responsibility for what happened,” he said. “I didn’t know about the stealing or the other things. It was a lack of leadership as chairman on my part. I hope the people of Florala don’t hold it against the board or the city council. It happened under my watch, and I take responsibility.”

Williford said he will continue to serve the remaining three years of his term as a city councilman.